Each year, Johnstown Magazine highlights some of the brave individuals who faced a breast cancer diagnosis and plowed their way through.
Katelyn McClain, a Johnstown native, discovered she had breast cancer in 2018. She was just 27.
“People my age aren’t thinking about getting sick especially with breast cancer. I want people to know that this can happen to anyone,” she says.
The lump was found following her annual gynecologist appointment.
A mammogram and further testing resulted in the diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma in situ, also known as DCIS.
“I was fortunate that the cancer didn’t spread because it seems like everything happened so quickly” Katelyn says.
She opted for a bilateral mastectomy to prevent the cancer from spreading.
“Losing a part of your body is never a good feeling, but I didn’t want to risk it going from one side of my breast to the other,” she says.
Due to detecting the cancer at an early stage, Katelyn did not have to have any treatments other than Tamoxifen and was thrilled to learn that after surgery, she no longer had cancer.
Katelyn believes that Zantac, a medication she was taking, may have caused her cancer and believes birth control caused the cancer to grow.
“A lot of people aren’t aware of what they’re putting into their body,” she says.
Katelyn considers herself fortunate to have had a strong support system in her fiancé, mother and sister. She especially acknowledges her aunt who also had breast cancer.
Today, Katelyn and her fiancé, Reggie Hainesworth, are expecting their second child.
Although thrilled about the pregnancy, Katelyn is concerned because she is not able to take her hormone blocking medication.
“It scares me because I am worried about my hormones causing the cancer to come back,” she says.
But the family has plenty to celebrate.
Recently, they purchased a new home.
Additionally, Katelyn was promoted to supervisor at Alleghenies Unlimited Cerebral Palsy where she was able to work throughout her cancer ordeal.
Katelyn also is a real estate agent.
She attends breast cancer events and enjoys cooking and family time. “I am a home body and I love decorating the house. I am now embracing decorating the nursery,” she says.
Katelyn encourages all women to get checked and to be aware of what they may be putting into their bodies.